I just finished listening to "Tumbleweeds" by Leila Meacham. I have to admit I listened to the last CD a second time, just to be sure I hadn't missed anything. I think I secretly wanted a different ending.
The book begins with Cathy Benson being orphaned and moving to her paternal grandmother's. Cathy leaves California where she was enrolled in a private school, taking dance lessons and already planning to be a doctor. Her only refuge in the culturally challenged small town of Kersey, Texas, is the fact that her grandmother's best friend is the aunt of Trey Don Hall. Trey Don is also an orphan and his aunt is raising him. The other main character in the novel is John Caldwell, whose mother left when he was a baby. John lives with his alcoholic father; thus, John spends a lot of time at Trey Don's aunt's home. The two women arrange for Trey Don and John to watch over Cathy at school. When Trey Don meets Cathy (or Catherine Ann as he calls her) he falls instantly in love at the age of 11.
John is the steady one always trying to keep Trey Don out of mischief. The boys are already slated to play high school football, so with them on either side of her, Cathy has no problems at school.
The three musketeers continue until they become teenagers and the triangle hits a snag with Trey Don declaring his love for Catherine Ann. John continues to be friendly with the couple, but has to stifle his feelings for Cathy, never letting either know of his heartache.
The boys are geared for football scholarships and it is financially imperative that John receive one. Trey Don has talked Cathy out of accepting a full scholarship to USC, so she can go to Florida State with the boys. All three fates rest on the football team winning the state championship and Trey Don is willing to do anything to assure that victory is theirs.
What results from one rash act is horrifying. Lives are changed in a matter of minutes, as author Meacham weaves a story of love, deceit, and loss. Just like tumbleweeds, the three roll through life, entangling in each other's lives making for an ending worth listening to twice.
Recommended by Linda Krauss